I don't really know how to talk about rape anymore. My own, or anyone else's.
It's like the stages of coming to terms with something are like the stages of grief. Only mine went like this
Pain. The cliched curled up on the floor of the shower with water so hot it burns you while you sob and feel like you'll never be clean again.
Denial. Nothing is wrong. Nothing happened. The fact you have been bleeding for days means nothing. Ignore it. Put it out of your mind.
Rebel. Take back what you lost in the most unhealthy ways. Drink. Sleep with boys. Show that you are just fucking fine. You are fine. Nothing happened.
Hurt. Yourself. Sometimes others. But this is nothing new, your blood loss has been sustaining you for years. So mostly yourself, with lines and holes and marks that will last long after you can remember his name. Did he tell you his name? Can you still see the word NO carved so faintly in the crook of my arm?
Rock bottom. Lose that which you have always wanted. Feel your body fail you, twice, and those ones who should have been there to hold your hand run and hide. They may have taken lessons on denial from you.
Come clean. Finally say it. Say the words. Rape. Miscarriage. The loss that is in every letter. The anger that lingers in every syllable. But do not cry. Still, you do not cry.
Talk. Begin to talk more openly. People knew. No one knew what to say. No one knew what to call it. So give it a name. Tell it from the roof. Really start to take back what was taken from you.
Embrace. Learn what the power of the goddess is. You are a goddess. We are all sacred. Someone can defile that which is sacred, but if it is truly blessed that cannot be broken. Rape is not sex. Sex is not shame, but sacred. Understanding and sharing are love.
Tired. I'm out of fight. It's been 10 years. I fought for myself and for others and now I'm drained. I don't want to talk about it any more. I don't want to live it any more. But it's a part of me and it happens every day. How can I walk away and be silent?
Where to from here? Where to go? Where to grow?
Step off the cliff.
We're here to catch you
It took a long time for me to be able to speak about rape and sexual assault. Now I seem to be coming to a point where I struggle again, because I've said most of what I've needed to say. But my story is only one. Within my family alone, it is only one. Within my friend group, it is only one. When I finish talking there are millions of people to take my place. So we must never stop listening.